Bessie Blount, was a physical therapist
who worked with soldiers injured in W.W.II. Bessie Blount's war service
inspired her to patent a device, in 1951, that allowed amputees to feed
The electrical device allowed a tube
to deliver one mouthful of food at a time to a patient in a wheelchair
or in a bed whenever he or she bit down on the tube. She later invented
a portable receptacle support that was a simpler and smaller version of
the same, designed to be worn around a patient's neck.
Bessie Blount was born in Hickory,
Virginia in 1914. She moved from Virginia to New Jersey where she studied
to be a physical therapist at the Panzar College of Physical Education
and at Union Junior College and then furthered her training as a physical
therapist in Chicago.
In 1951, Bessie Blount started teaching
Physical Therapy at the Bronx Hospital in New York. She was unable to successfully
market her valuable inventions and found no support from United States
Veteran's Administration, so she gave the patent rights to the French government
in 1952. The French government put the device to good use helping to make
life better for many war vets.
"a black woman can invent something
for the benefit of humankind" - Bessie Blount
To the left you can view Bessie Blount's
patent - filed under her married name of Bessie Blount Griffin. Or view
the full patent.
with >>> The Full Patent Application of